By Sherrie Li
By Falling James
By Amanda Lewis
By Amy Nicholson
By Amy Nicholson
By Jennifer Swann
By Scott Foundas
By Sherrie Li
Much of the crew has nothing to do except stay out of the way of others who are busy. The Gourmet Coffee Warehouse is not actually brewing coffee, so they buy it from a catering truck, which serves what must be the most powerful stimulant to be legally dispensed without prescription. Some settle in at the outdoor cafe tables installed for the movie -- Traction Avenue is not exactly the kind of thoroughfare on which real businesses set furniture out on the sidewalk. Meanwhile, the set dresser keeps an eye on a prop phone booth across the street to see if it’s making any money. (On an earlier movie project, he says, he installed one with a note on it advising passersby of its prop status, yet some still tried to make calls.)
After nearly an hour, everyone is ready to shoot the last part of the scene. When Evelyn accuses Adam of wavering fidelity, he replies, ”Jesus, next you‘re gonna tell me the handkerchief with the strawberries on it is missing.“ Evelyn barely blinks at the Othello allusion: ”I don’t know that reference.“ Sometimes Weisz plays the line as a throwaway; other times it brings her to the brink of tears. LaBute doesn‘t indicate which of these readings he prefers.
”The smart actors know how to modulate their performances down to force you to use a close-up on them,“ he had said before the shooting resumed. ”You constantly find you’re in a battle, a game of strategy to get what you want and what they want.“
Rudd teases him. ”You tell me what you want, and I‘ll make it work. Because that’s what I do, that‘s my job -- I’m a professional.“
The mood suddenly lightens. Then someone questions the grammar of Evelyn‘s line ”If this was a movie, I’d see the light eventually,“ action ceases and discussions break out. When a visitor to the set volunteers that the line should be ”were a movie“ because it‘s the conditional voice, LaBute’s eyes widen: ”Get off the set! No one who knows ‘the conditional voice’ is allowed here! This is a blue-collar set!“ After the laughter dies down, he relents. ”Well, the rule I always go by is [singing] ‘If I were a carpenter . . .’“
This prompts Rudd to mention that although Tim Harden wrote the song, Bobby Darin made a hit of it ”after he finished his lounge phase. You know, he had the Nicholson thing.“
”Nicholson thing?“ LaBute asks.
”He found out that his ‘sister’ was really his mother.“
”What you mean is Bobby Darin was Nicholson‘s mother,“ LaBute muses. ”He died in childbirth. Jack was breach.“
The riffing continues until everyone is ready and an assistant calls out, ”We’re rolling! Everyone relax!“
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